By Richard Tardif
If you want to be fit, lose weight, eat better food and yes, be more active, and it doesn’t have to be exercise as the twentieth century dictates it, and you don’t need to exercise like an athlete. If you want to be healthier, eat more vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. It’s called plant-based eating. Eat some meat, as well, once in a while. Just be mindful of what you eat. If you want to be in better shape, or experience some body transformation, train for it, and give it some time, and be consistent. Sleep.
But that’s not what we do. We all know it. We rely on the Scientists and the media to set us straight. Scientists carry out test after test, and then retest, and then someone writes about how wrong the study is and how everyone needs to go back to the drawing board. The media writes it up, then moves on. We feel guilty about believing it, and then push it to the back of our minds. We finally decide to take action, so we read, talk about it some more. Then what? We join a gym, start running, take extra classes; boot camp it for that extra loss, and set unrealistic goals, read some more, eat worse, and then read some more. We join a gym again, hire a trainer, set more unrealistic goals, and then stop going to the gym. Each time we restart a fitness goal, the Fitness Industry is right there for us, showing us the way, leading us, taking away the fear.
But what’s stopping us is fear; fear of judgement: whether that’s about how we look, whether we’re any good, or feeling guilty about spending time on us, or the fear of being judged. “Lifestyle changes” is the key and this sounds sexy, doesn’t it? It isn’t. It’s something we fear. Consider this quote:
“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you – the shift in daily habits that would mean a re-invention of how you see yourself.” – Seth Godin, August 2012.
Entrepreneur, author, and public speaker Seth Godin pioneered the idea of permission marketing. He has written 18 bestselling books and his blog is considered the most popular in the world. Godin is saying you first have to get out of your comfort zone, a scary idea.
“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone. When your uncomfortable actions lead to success, the organization rewards you and brings you back for more.” – Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Sociologists don’t think humans consider change a bad thing in general. We just don’t welcome change. It’s threatening to our ideas of accepted survival strategies. But how many of us have had our life changed at a drop of a hat? What do we do to survive? The suddenly jobless person who feels no choice but to find another job? Accidents happen and they change our lives. Our doctors tell us we’re overweight, on the verge of diabetes, and will die sooner, then later…what do we do? We change, or try to. If we decide to change because we choose to, most of us are going to enjoy it.
Stop swallowing pills, drinking shakes, and joining too many gyms. Accomplishing your goals takes a comprehensive, holistic, and integrated approach. Be flexible in your timeline, find a partner or group for accountability, change it up, listen to your inner voice, and eat a healthy, balanced diet, but not a rigid diet that excludes everything you like. And you don’t have to take on everything at once.
Richard Tardif is a personal fitness trainer, life coach and health journalist who has been writing about health and wellness for over 20 years. As someone who has struggled with his own weight issues, Richard’s mission is to shed light on the misinformation propagated by the fitness industry, and empower people to take back responsibility for their health. He is also finalizing his debut book, Stop the Denial: A Case for Embracing the Truth about Fitness, published by Smiling Eye Press.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the author or Smiling Eye Press take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, nor any exercise described in this article taken without a personal trainer involved constitutes repsonsibility for injury, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment or training, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.